In this talk, I will describe a joint Microsoft Research and Bing project to study the possibility of using field programmable gate arrays to accelerate cloud applications. We developed an FPGA card that plugs into a Microsoft designed cloud server and used it to accelerate a significant portion of Bing’s search engine. Because the application does not fit into a single FPGA, we spread the application across multiple FPGAs spread across multiple servers and connected together with a low latency network also implemented by the FPGA. Our 1,632 server pilot demonstrated a factor of two performance improvement over pure software at significant power savings. FPGAs will accelerate Bing searches in one data center starting in 2015.
Derek Chiou is a Principal Architect at Microsoft where he co-leads a team working on FPGAs for data center applications and an associate professor at The University of Texas at Austin. His research areas are FPGA acceleration, high performance computer simulation, rapid system design, computer architecture, parallel computing, Internet router architecture, and network processors. Before going to UT, Dr. Chiou was a system architect at Avici Systems, a manufacturer of terabit core routers. Dr. Chiou received his Ph.D., S.M. and S.B. degrees in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from MIT.